Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
December 17, 2020 8:33 PM - Subscribe

After the events of The Muppets, the Muppets find themselves at a loss as to what to do next until they hire a new manager, Dominic Badguy, who convinces them to go on a world tour. Unbeknownst to the Muppets, criminal mastermind Constantine, the World's Most Dangerous Frog, who resembles Kermit, has recently escaped from a Siberian gulag to join his sidekick Dominic, and the two have a dastardly plan to use the Muppets' world tour as a cover for an elaborate heist.

Muppets Most Wanted stars Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey, and features cameos by Tony Bennett, Hugh Bonneville, Tom Hollander, Jemaine Clement, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Rob Corddry, Mackenzie Crook, Toby Jones, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Zach Galifianakis, Josh Groban, Salma Hayek, Tom Hiddleston, Frank Langella, Ray Liotta, Ross Lynch, James McAvoy, Chloë Grace Moretz, Dylan "Hornswoggle" Postl, Miranda Richardson, Saoirse Ronan, Til Schweiger, Russell Tovey, Danny Trejo, Stanley Tucci, Usher, and Christoph Waltz.

Muppets Most Wanted had its world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on March 11, 2014, and was released theatrically in North America on March 21, 2014, by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film grossed $80.4 million worldwide on a budget of $51 million and was generally positively received by critics, with praise for the humor and emotion. The film was dedicated to Muppets performer Jerry Nelson, who died during the film's development, and Jane Henson, who died two months into production. It was also the final Muppets feature film Whitmire was involved in before his departure from The Muppets Studio in 2016.
posted by orange swan (9 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I saw this March 21 at the El Capitan Theatre (not the world premiere but the general release) with a friend and had a blast. They did some stuff live onstage with various muppets prior to the screening, including having Kermit sing The Rainbow Connection. The movie itself didn't thrill me but the experience was wonderful. Truly delighted my my inner 4-year-old.
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 10:46 PM on December 17, 2020

I loved this movie too. Evil Kermit! Jon Hamm! Tina Fey! That interrogation song! I love watching actors with Muppets because they invariably look like they are having the time of their lives.
posted by bq at 8:50 AM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Jon Hamm wasn't in Muppets Most Wanted. Perhaps you're thinking of Ty Burrell, who played the French Interpol agent and has a similar look to Jon Hamm's?

I have heard/read of so, so many performers saying that working on The Muppet Show was so much fun and one of the best experiences/their favourite experience of their entire careers.
posted by orange swan at 9:56 AM on December 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Rewatched both The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted recently and this one really didn't land as well for me as The Muppets did. The tone feels slightly off and I wonder if that's the absence of Jason Segel in both cast and writing? The tour setting means that it never really feels grounded in one place; and yet it's not a road movie either, just a series of loosely-connected settings.

Also too much Ricky Gervais who always comes across as simply playing himself; although he's pretty game in the "I'm Number One" song-and-dance number.

The "Badguy" pronunciation is a solid gag; Konstantin's mole being the only way that everyone except us can distinguish between him and Kermit; Kermit being unable to avoid a let's-put-on-the-show-right-here plotline even in the gulag.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:39 PM on December 18, 2020

You are right. It’s ty Burrell.
posted by bq at 2:42 PM on December 18, 2020

Danny Trejo's mother died as he was filming his last scenes in this movie. As he was finishing his scenes so he could fly back to Los Angeles, California for the funeral, the cast and crew offered their condolences and sympathies to him. Trejo, known for his tough guy roles and demeanor, shrugged off the sympathies. When Steve Whitmire offered his condolences in character as Kermit the Frog, Trejo broke down crying.

Miss Piggy's wedding gown was designed by Vivienne Westwood(!) using a fabric made from recycled water bottles.

As Dominic Badguy reaches for the Imperial State Crown, there is a quick shot of black birds flying away from the Tower grounds. While this can be perceived as a simple "birds flying from danger" shot, it actually refers to the legend, "Should the Ravens depart the Tower, the Crown will fall, and Britain with it." Today, a flock of ravens is maintained at the Tower by clipping their wings.

Miss Piggy: Ich bin ein berliner.
Floyd Pepper: More like "Ein frankfurter".

Constantine: My name will go down as the greatest thief of all time!
Dominic Badguy: You mean our names, right?
Constantine: Of course. My name first, then spacebar, spacebar, spacebar... your name.

Kermit: The weakest point in the gulag is over there, by the fourth wall.
[Kermit, Fozzie, Walter, and Animal turn and stare at the camera for several long seconds]

This is my favourite of all ten of the Muppet movies. The plot was a lot of fun, Constantine is a great character, and there were *so* many good gags. Tina Fey was hilarious, and I thought Ricky Gervais was pretty fun too.

The gulag scenes were pretty much all a riot. The Waltons-style goodnights ("Good night, Danny Trejo") were a nice touch, as were the escape attempts. The interrogation scene/number was great. The running of the bulls. Die Muppets. Miss Piggy doing Celine Deon numbers. The badge size contest. Constantine knitting when he's stressed. Number One and Number Two, complete with a dance number. The Swedish Chef suggesting that the sequel be a film on the existential conundrum of religious faith. The Usher as the usher.

I hope there will be another Muppet movie before too long.
posted by orange swan at 4:45 PM on December 18, 2020 [4 favorites]

I somehow missed the 2011 Muppet reboot and this followup, but you had me at Dominic Badguy.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:57 PM on December 18, 2020

It's pronounced "bædgee". It's French for "good man".
posted by orange swan at 3:22 PM on December 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

I also rewatched both this and the previous one and they are both a delight. This one relies a bit more heavily on the musical numbers but they're all solid. I love how both movies riff on the fact that the Muppets just aren't that much of a cultural powerhouse as they were previously.

"Good night, Danny Trejo." is a real solid background joke. There is also something really lovely about Ray Liotta of all people being in a really small side role in the whole movie. And much like Segel in the first movie, you get the feeling everyone is having a pretty great time performing.

I'm also glad Gervais is cast as a (pathetic) bad guy/Badguy so I don't have to try to separate my feelings about the man and the role.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:56 AM on December 21, 2020

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